Mike Wallace – Vice President, Government Affairs

On behalf of our member companies that provide more than 1 million jobs in the state and make the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) the largest statewide business association in the country, we are submitting testimony in opposition to A-4902, which requires businesses to notify customers of collection of personally identifiable information and allows customers to opt out.

This bill includes provisions that will result unintended consequences, such as weakening consumer privacy and increasing security threats. Furthermore, numerous definitional and operational problems make implementation and compliance unnecessarily costly and confusing for consumers and businesses alike.

The definition of “personally identifiable information” is so expansive that it is difficult to conceive of any online service – especially one in the digital advertising ecosystem – that does not collect personal data. Under the A-4902 personally identifiable information is defined as any information that personally identifies, describes, or is able to be associated with a customer of a commercial Internet website or online service, including but not limited to 20 categories including customary examples such as name and address but also less sensitive information such as height and weight. Unlike many privacy laws, including California’s, there is no exception for anonymized, de-identified, or aggregated data.

Finally, NJBIA believes the protection of personal data shared on the Internet and online services, should be addressed at the federal level and not state by state.

Legislation regarding internet privacy has passed in California and is likely to have significant negative unintended consequences for privacy. The law is a work in progress and by no means a model to pass in other states. The law will not take effect until January 2020 and is likely to be amended further, and will be clarified by Attorney General regulations. New Jersey should at least wait until California’s law has been fully vetted.

NJBIA appreciates the opportunity to submit written testimony and respectfully asks that you vote NO on A-4902.

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